SAN ANGELO, Texas — When starting out on Facebook, it takes time to grow your business’ page, and it takes work to engage your fans.
Facebook users want something more than an average website can provide since they are looking to engage in conversation, share their opinions and be heard. This interaction makes it important to use Facebook as a tool to manage and promote your brand and message rather than to focus solely on promoting and selling your products and services. Here are some helpful tips for developing your Facebook page and content.
Be an expert. Instead of focusing on selling your products and services, use Facebook to share your expertise and grow your credibility. Share tips and tricks about your service and product that an average user wouldn’t know. Seeing how knowledgeable you are in your subject helps build trust in your performance.
Be friendly. When people are using Facebook, they won’t waste their time if they don’t feel appreciated. If someone comments on a post on your page, be sure to respond right away. Keep the communication open by being friendly and upbeat. Your enthusiasm for your business will show through. And don’t be afraid to be your (professional) self. This leads to the next tip.
Be professional. When it comes to your personal Facebook page, it may be acceptable to misspell a word here or there, or post a random comment about a movie you saw last night, or post your political opinion. However, on a business page, you are always reflecting your brand. Be sure all posts are grammatically correct and related to your business. You don’t want to give people the impression the carelessness on your page could mean carelessness with your service.
Be engaging. This may be the most important tip and may be the most difficult to implement. However, if you can truly get a conversation going on your page with followers sharing their opinions and experiences about your industry, you can gain valuable insight into how to satisfy your customers. Try asking open-ended questions about a current event related to your industry. Include a poll on your page. Ask a quiz or trivia question to test your fans knowledge of your industry. Have the winner receive a discount the next time they visit your store. Don’t be afraid to try out a few types of posts to find what works for you.
Be interesting. The saying “a picture says a thousand words” is absolutely true for Facebook. Posts with pictures are known to result in more interaction. People on Facebook spend a lot of time looking at pictures so don’t disappoint them when they visit your page. Post pictures of your product, employees or events. Videos are a good addition as well, but just keep in mind your average user is not interested in anything over two to three minutes. The shorter, the better.
Be there. Business owners who attend our Social Media Marketing seminars often express reluctance to start Facebook pages because they think it will be a waste of time. However, spending no more than two hours a week, total, on your Facebook marketing efforts can bring a great return on investment (ROI). Those two hours include creating your posts, uploading pictures, responding to any comments, etc. Once you get the page up and running, it will be working 24/7 to promote your brand and attract new customers.
If you’re still on the fence about starting your page, remember you get as much out of it as you put in. Invest some time in the beginning to personalize it, create a few interesting and engaging posts and add pictures. Then be sure to invite your friends and customers to like you and engage in conversation. The sooner you start, the sooner you will reap the benefits.
“Business Tips” was written by Jessica Lambert, Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Adviser I, and Certified Training Coordinator of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her atJessica.Lambert@angelo.edu.